Monday Apr 13, 2009

links for 2009-4-13: NHIN and GlassFish/OpenESB/Sun, Apple Tax?, Windows on decline?

Sunday Nov 09, 2008

If You Buy a Mac

My recent "Why Buy a Mac" blog about sitting next to someone on a plane running Windows on a Mac received a number of comments so I thought I'd respond to some.

There were several OpenSolaris related comments and I'm all for using it. I've installed the 200805 release in a VirtualBox VM on my Mac as well as native on an old Dell I have. And I recently had an opportunity to get a release candidate for the next release and it is improved but I don't know that it quite has all the apps I want/need. I'm going to continue using/tracking it though and would gladly switch to it as my primary OS when it is "ready". But I don't know that I'd go out of my way to run it on a Mac and certainly wouldn't spend Apple money to buy a new machine to do so.

Related to the above, there was a comment about using Ubuntu. I've used it (or its variants like gOS and Linux Mint) both in VMs and native and feel it is still ahead of OpenSolaris as a "regular user" desktop, but similarly wouldn't buy Mac hardware to run it.

There was also the comment about the person being required to use Windows or that he worked from Microsoft. Actually could have been considering it was a flight leaving Seattle!

And while I'm on the subject of Mac's, see Michael Cote's writeup on tips for a new Mac user. A good read.

Thursday Nov 06, 2008

Why Buy a Mac

... if you are just going to run Windows on it?

I was on a flight yesterday, and as a MacBook Pro user myself was interested to see my seat mate pull out one as well but surprised to see him boot up Windows. Ok, perhaps he uses BootCamp with Windows to run a Windows specific app or something, but to my further surprise he proceeded to simply watch a video during the flight. Isn't this something that OS X can do as well (better?) and so would make sense to use OS X for?

Yes, the Mac hardware is very nice and I'm pleased with mine, but I can't see spending the extra money over another quality notebook only to turn around and run Windows on it. Thoughts?

Tuesday Aug 12, 2008

Non Microsoft PCs becoming more mainstream

It is becoming easier and easier to get a personal computer from a major manufacturer running something other than Windows. Of course, there is always a Mac which has been and continues to be a very good option for many, but it is major traditional PC manufacturers offering models with Linux that may be the sign that Windows foothold on the "PC" may be weakening.

Dell announced offerings some time ago, but recently announced new laptops that will be running Ubuntu giving a nice selection of machines to choose from, desktop or laptop.

IBM has also announced "Microsoft-free desktops".

Choice is good!

Saturday May 24, 2008

MacBook Pro, VirtualBox, and OpenSolaris

OpenSolaris was a big part of CommunityOne this year and as I mentioned in blogging about it, I was installing it and would be blogging about it soon. Well, it isn't as soon as I wanted (something about Java CAPS 6 has kept me busy) but here is an update of where I've gotten.

I'm running on a Mac, so went the route of installing OpenSolaris 200805 in VirtualBox 1.6. Getting and installing VirtualBox was straightforward, and then installing OpenSolaris also went very well. This blog entry goes into a bunch of detail on an identical type of configuration so I won't attempt to capture it all here again.

After the install, I wanted to get the desktop to use the full screen real estate I have and so went about finding out how to do that. Followed the steps and voila I can run full screen and have it appear that I have running OpenSolaris natively on the Mac.

So far I've installed via IPS which went just fine, and I'll be looking to install more things soon.

My outstanding issue is that I don't have audio working yet. By default audio was disabled in VirtualBox so I enabled it and tried both options it presents there but OpenSolaris hasn't recognized either. If anyone has any tips, please let me know.

I have also started installing OpenSolaris on a spare Dell D600 I have. I had LinuxMint on it already (Ubuntu based distro) and when I was done installing I could no longer boot to Linux! I found this blog that explained how to put the Linux Grub back and have it provide for booting to OpenSolaris which worked fine. I haven't gotten wireless working on it yet so that is the next project (any tips welcome!)

Monday Dec 17, 2007

links for 2007-12-17

Full disclosure: I'm a MacBook Pro user at work but have been a long time Linux user and am in the process of trying out several distributions in Parallels and VMware Fusion VMs on the Mac. More to come on that.

Friday May 18, 2007

Mac OS X Nits

I've now had my MacBook Pro for a little while now and continue to like it, but I do have a few nits.

The big one is that all the applications have not standardized on the shortcuts for moving the cursor when editing text.

In some apps (Firefox for example, my browser where I'm composing this entry, but Thunderbird too, at least they are consistent!), Apple-left/right arrow results in going to the beginning/end of a line. But in others (NeoOffice for example), the same shortcuts are used for advancing a word backward/forward at a time and fn-left/right arrow is used for the beginning and end of a line (which does nothing in Firefox and Thunderbird). But others still (Adium IM client) use Apple-arrow to switch between chat windows, alt/option-arrow to move a word at a time, and fn-arrow for beginning/end of lines. There are probably more variants and it gets worse if you look at the combinations with up/down arrows.

Now I'm sure most if not all of this is configurable, but why not standardize to make it easier on the user? I hate to say this but with Windows the home/end and ctrl-arrow behavior is pretty much universally consistent for these standard editing shortcuts.

Monday Apr 02, 2007

I have a Mac!

My old Dell laptop from SeeBeyond was growing long in the tooth and I've been fortunate enough to be the recipient of a brand new 15" MacBook Pro. I'm not the only one as my co-worker Rich Sharples has also blogged about his.

In my case, I was moving from Windows XP with it being my primary OS for the past few years. I do have a Solaris machine at work as a box running Linux at home and used a Mac for work many years ago so I am by no means unfamiliar with other OSs. Unfortunately I got my a week ago today and with a busy week didn't get to do much until this weekend.

The lovely new machine, thanks to my helpful IT staff, came with Firefox, Thunderbird, NeoOffice, and Parallels installed, Parallels with a Windows XP VM as well as a couple Solaris VMs. The machine boots and performs very well with the GUI being very slick, but I actually don't fawn over fancy GUIs that much so that isn't a big deal for me.

I've installed a few apps, first the Java EE 5 SDK Tools Bundle and then Skype. I also installed Apple's XCode to get a C compiler.

I have successfully moved most of my files over and moved my mail so I am now using the Mac as my primary machine. I agree with Rich that the mouse button seems a little high. Just doesn't seem necessary to be that high.

Overall, I'm very happy with it and expect to be learning more over the next few weeks.



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